Brand Implementation

In the past few weeks we (along with Mighty, our website design partner) have been learning more about our identified website audiences so we can better communicate with them.

This week we’ve been holding a set of workshops, “Building Your Stories through the Web.” At these sessions we are:

  • Previewing exciting new changes to how we will be providing brand assets to campus (logos, letterhead, business cards, nametags, templates, etc).
  • Sharing an overview of our user personas and scenarios, and introducing a few of them in depth.
  • Walking through several exercises to begin learning how to utilize the personas, and using brand attributes to craft messages.

You can sign up on our online form to attend one of these sessions.

Content & Design Strategy phase

Phase one of Research & Identification is nearing completion, and we are very excited to be moving forward into the Content & Design Strategy phase. During this phase, Mighty will be proposing a new site map and information architecture for the site, and we will begin exploring a few different design directions through style tiles. Style tiles are lower fidelity than full mockups but more precise than mood boards and consist of fonts, colors and interface elements that communicate the essence of our visual brand for the web.

In terms of schedule, Mighty will be working on these deliverables and providing them for review and revision between now and right before Christmas shutdown.

User Personas and Scenarios

Who are our website users and what do they want to do?

Those are the questions we are attempting to answer with the help of our web partner, Mighty. This week we got the first look at our User Personas and Scenarios. These are fictional “people” who have been created based on real-life audiences and needs. They will help us to make better informed decisions as we move forward with the content strategy, structure, and ultimately design of a new Hope website.

Within our 14 personas, we have four prospective students, a prospective parent, a current parent, two current students, a faculty member, a staff member, a prospective faculty member, a recent alumna, an older alumnus, and a community member.

All of these personas have many scenarios related to them. Some unique and some they share. For example these include: “Can I afford to go?”, “Could I play on the volleyball team?”, “What is the academic program like?”, “How do I pay my tuition bill?”, “How do I get involved on campus?”, “What are my options for studying abroad?”, “How do I share my department’s accomplishments?”, “Where’s that form again?”, “What would it be like to work here?”, and “What are my classmates doing now?”.

We’re still working on finalizing these personas, and once finalized we look forward to sharing these with the campus community as we work together on our larger web content strategy.

Stakeholder Interviews Summary

This week, our web design partner, Mighty, presented their findings and summary of the stakeholder interviews that were conducted. This will be helpful in our planning moving forward.

There were some major themes that came out of these discussions which include ideas/thoughts related to KnowHope, campus calendar & events, tickets, registration & advising, department pages, forms & pdfs, student organizations, navigating campus, recruitment & giving, more interactive/dynamic/visual media, diversity, navigation & search, design & structure, content & workflow, and many more.

Cumulatively, these themes provide a foundational understanding of Hope College’s website users that is based on real people and real needs, not guesses and assumptions. We’re excited to use this feedback in the planning of the new Hope website.

Web design focus groups & open forums a success!

Thank you to the many faculty, staff, students, and others who shared your insight and helped us to make our website design focus groups and open forums a success! We are so grateful for your participation with our web design partner, Mighty.

In total, 20 focus groups and 3 open forums were conducted with over 150 people. Out of the 23 total sessions, 10 of them focused on the academic program of the college.

During the coming months there will be more opportunities for you to continue the conversation about the important building blocks and elements of the Hope College story through the web.

If you have further thoughts that you would like to share with Mighty you can contact them at hope@mightyinthemidwest.com or you can contact us at web@hope.edu.

New Hope Envelopes & Letterhead Now Available at the Bookstore

We’re excited to share that our friends at The Hope-Geneva Bookstore now have generic Hope College letterhead and matching #10 business envelopes featuring the new Hope logo in stock!

For a limited time, the old Hope College #10 envelopes will still be available. Departments are encouraged to use these for any mailings generated on remaining stock of the old letterhead.

Generic Hope College letterhead can be a great and cost effective way to do mailings for campus departments.

Web design focus groups

The Web Team and Integrated Marketing have continued progress on the Hope College Website Redesign Project. We’ve previously selected a new college-wide content management system (OmniUpdate) and we have selected a new local web design partner to help us with the next phase. The firm, Mighty who is based in Grand Rapids, will bring a wealth of experience and creativity as we further navigate this design process.

The first step in the process with Mighty is “Research and Identification”. In addition to an inventory of content and analytics, we are conducting a series of focus groups and open forums with the campus community over the next few weeks.

We’re reaching out to faculty, staff, and students across campus to ask for their participation in website focus groups. Focus groups will assemble 8-12 participants to meet with Mighty. In addition to the specific focus groups that are being formed, we will also be facilitating several open forums which will be available to all employees and students as a chance to learn more, ask questions, and offer feedback.

During this time and in these next months there will be opportunities for faculty, staff, and students to continue the conversation about the important building blocks of the foundation and elements of the Hope College story through the web.

We thank the campus community for your participation in this important process!

Web design partner selected

The Web Team has been hard at work for many months searching for the right partner to come alongside us for the website redesign project. We began by writing a Request for Information, which we sent to about a dozen design firms, both local and non-local. After reviewing all of the responses, we narrowed our search down to our top two choices who we brought to campus to meet with in person. As a result of that process, one group has stood out as an excellent choice for our needs.

We’re thrilled to introduce you to Mighty. They are a local firm based in Grand Rapids, and although they are smaller (10 staff members) their focus is solely on the web. We were extremely impressed by their thoughtful approach to web content strategy and design, as well as their top notch client list and portfolio.

We’ll soon have the details finalized with our agreement with Mighty and will be kicking off the project with them in the near future!

Follow @hellomighty on Twitter

New athletics website goes live with PrestoSports

A year’s worth of hard work and teamwork has culminated with a new athletics website for those who follow the Flying Dutch and Flying Dutchmen and those who dream of one day becoming a student-athlete at Hope.

Hope College has partnered with PrestoSports in this  redesign of the college’s athletics website. PrestoSports also services the websites for the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association and more than 300 NCAA Division III institutions.

The partnership with PrestoSports will allow opportunities for expanded coverage of Hope Athletics, including visually. Each team’s roster pages now will feature individual pictures of each student-athlete. Results from Hope sporting events will be updated more quickly. The Sports Information Department at Hope College is planning to provide multi-media storytelling, including expanded use of video and social media.

PrestoSports also offers a mobile site for Hope Athletics, making it easier for fans to keep up to date with their smartphones. We hope you enjoy this newest way to keep track of your favorite school and teams.

Interactive Campus Map goes live

We’re excited to announce the launch of our new web-based interactive campus map provided through CampusBird.

Some of the map’s features include:
  • Photos and descriptions for each location on the map
  • Directions and sharing from each pin drop
  • 360° panoramic images for many prominent locations (click the yellow people icons throughout the map)
  • Search function with keywords for each location
We’d appreciate your feedback, take a look and let us know what you think!